Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sweet Kidney Beans

I do not remember the name of the fresh beans I purchased from a farmer at the local farmer’s market. But I am sure this is a kind of kidney beans. They are two to three times bigger than regular red kidney beans, which are frequently used in Cajun/Creole cuisine in Louisiana.

First, I cooked a Cajun bean soup using these beans. It was very good. However, when I tasted them, I immediately felt they might also be good for sweet beans.

Usually, Japanese black beans are used for this dish. These simmered sweet beans are considered a special dish and typically are served in the New Year’s Day. I love these black sweet beans since I was a kid. Therefore, my mother cooked this dish for a few times a year.

My instinct was correct. These particular kidney beans went very well with the sugar and soy sauce. They can be served as a great appetizer or nice cold dessert.

1 and ½ cups fresh or dried kidney beans
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1. If you use dried kidney beans, soak them in water overnight.
2. Wash the beans well. Put them in a large pot and water until all of the beans are covered by water.
3. Bring to a boil. Then discard the water. In order to remove the harshness of the beans, repeat this process for two to three times.
4. After step 3 is done, add water until all of the beans are covered by water. Also add the sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. After boiling, lower the heat. Simmer for one hour to one and half hours until the beans become very soft.
5. Refrigerate the simmered sweet beans and serve them cold!

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